A group of thirty six, including Friars, Lay Carmelites and representatives of ministries in Australia and Timor-Leste gathered in Melbourne April 22-26.

Along with friars from all Carmelite communities, delegates from Lay Carmelite communities, Damien and Irene participated on behalf of the local parish of Port Melbourne Middle Park. [Photo below with Paul Cahill OCarm, the Parish Priest of Port Melbourne Middle Park parish.]


The Assembly began with the presentations of symbols representing each of the communities and ministries of the Province. Irene and Damien presenting the symbols selected by the Leadership Group of the Port Melbourne Middle Park parish.

1.           The Message Stick is used at liturgies each week to represent the diversity and welcome our community offers. This Aboriginal symbol enriches the liturgy by linking the Gospel message to this land – Australia. And to remind us that the message of love, hope, forgiveness and peace in the Gospel needs to be handed on.

2.           A card with an image of Mary sketched by parishioner Sally Diserio. Mary as our model and sister in faith, reminds us of the value of women in our Carmelite family and a feeling of being at home and embraced just as we are.

Taking as its theme the command of Jesus to ‘cast your net to the right side,’ the Assembly reflected on various issues from a different perspective, asking ‘what’s possible?’, not ‘what’s wrong?’ Topics included:

  • Sharing the good news of Carmelite life and ministry
  • Acknowledging shared challenges and opportunities
  • Values, strengths and calls of the Spirit for the Carmelite Family
  • Ministry and service, community life, vocations and formation and
  • Government and structures were also a special focus for the friars.

The province will explore these reflections further discerning directions and priorities for the next Provincial Chapter which will be 2025.